Hundreds of families have left their homes isince the 2018 occupation of Afrin (Efrin) by Turkey and its mercenaries. Thousands of refugees from Afrin are now in Raqqa (Reqa), Shahba (Şehba), and Qamişlo.
Refugee women from Afrin who have been living in the Serdem Refugee Camp in Shahba Canton spoke to Jin News about what they have been through in the last three years.
“We resisted a state that is part of NATO for 58 days”, they said. “Today, we continue our struggle in the Serdem and Berxwedan camps. 20 January 2018 was a dark day for us”.
Serdem Camp Council Member Elif Osman recalled the beginning of the occupation: “There was a brutal attack. They attacked everywhere with no regard for young people or children. The only aim of the Turkish state is to destroy Kurds and the organisation of Kurds. They were painful days; they tried to destroy our history and culture”.
Osman is nonetheless proud of the resistance. “We resisted for 58 days. There were only YPG (People’s Protection Units) and YPJ (Women’s Protection Units) with us but we resisted with honour”.
After they were settled in the Serdem Refugee Camp in Shahba Canton by the AANES (Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria) they started organising again in the camp. “We continue our resistance here in the camp as well, and we live in solidarity with each other”, said Osman.
Afrin Women’s Committee Council Member Huriye Muhemed Mustafa is another woman who had to leave her home due to Turkey’s attacks. “We are hoping to go back to our lands one day, and we raise our children by telling them ‘we will go back to Afrin again'”, she said. “We will resist with our children and eventually liberate Afrin from the invaders”.
‘Our only hope is to return to Afrin’
Committee Council Member Leyla İbrahim agrees with Mustafa. “We resisted without any heavy weapons and warplanes. Now we are in Shahba, but we continued our system here too. Our only hope is to return to Afrin, to re-create our system in Afrin with the AANES . We continue our struggle despite the difficult conditions in the camp”.